The Black Cat Theme

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Topics: Edgar Allan Poe
Kristy Porter English Comp II 1213 sec. 510 3 April 2009 The Black Cat The Black Cat, by Edgar Allen Poe, is a story about a man’s love/hate relationship with animals. What goes around comes around is the best way to describe the message of this story because Poe implies that people will undoubtedly suffer the consequences of their actions. Through the careful construction of plot, the ongoing use of irony, and the rapid development of character, Poe captures the reader's attention and draws a wide variety of emotions through this short story. This story is a confession of an atrocious sin told by an old man on his deathbed. The plot begins to unfold as the main character reflects back on his childhood. He recalls having been an animal lover all of his life. A conflict first arises between himself and Pluto, his cat. He becomes angered when the cat rejects him out of fear. However, he quickly resolves this problem by killing the cat. Throughout the story he seems to be having an inner conflict as well. He realizes how horrible and dark his sins are but is unable to feel remorse. While he seems to be an intelligent and righteous man, he cannot seem to control his violent fits of drunken rage. He also deals with conflict on a more spiritual level. The cat that he has killed is haunting him. He tries to shrug it off as coincidence, but every time he comes up with an explanation for an unusual event, something else happens. His final conflict is in proving his innocence to the police. He wants to make a statement to the police admitting to his sin, without the police picking up on it. In doing so, he gives himself away. The multiple ironies of this story make the main character wonder if he is being haunted or if it is all coincidence. The introduction suggests that Poe has had a privileged upbringing and a happy life. He marries a woman with whom he has a lot in common and has a picture perfect life. They both love animals and have lots of them. Once again he

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